|Woodwards Building Squatted in Vancouver, Canada|
Vancouver, Canada, September 16, 2002
On Saturday, September 14, 2002, a group of homeless people and activists occupied a huge department building in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that has been vacant for 9 years. During that time various different community groups and activists have fought to have the building converted into social housing, only to have the government agree, and then go back on their promise.
The Downtown Eastside is the poorest neighbourhood in Canada, and with the current Liberal government’s cuts to social services, social housing, welfare, and the lowering of the minimum wage, poverty and homelessness are growing.
Out of this desperate situation, a group of people have squatted the enormous old department building and plan to stay their until it becomes social housing. Many people have set up camp outside the building and donations of food, matresses and other essentials have been pouring in. The building is owned by the British Columbia Housing, and the government is threatening to get an injuction to evict the squatters because of “saftey issues”.
As of Monday morning, September 16, 2002, the squatters are still occupying Woodwards.
For pictures and updates check – http://ontario.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=12087&group=webcast